Many Australians will be facing increased electricity prices from today – both residential customers and businesses in some instances.
In South Australia, the vast majority of residential electricity customers will be facing price hikes of between $117 and $260 a year.
In New South Wales, businesses and households across the state will be slugged on average an extra $200 annually as two major retailer lift their prices an average of 10 and 11 per cent respectively .
The hike in New South Wales is reported to be due to the increasing wholesale cost of electricity; driven in part by less spare capacity as a result of the impact of energy-hungry Queensland liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants.
In Tasmania, the hip-pocket damage isn’t so pronounced, with an annual average increase of $60 expected; primarily due to higher Victorian wholesale contract prices. On the bright side, solar households will also receive a 21% higher solar feed in tariff from today.
Regional Queensland hasn’t made it into the new financial year unscathed either. The Queensland Competition Authority announced in late May that a typical residential bill will rise by 2.8%, and typical small business customers will be slugged with a very unwelcome increase of 11.2%.
The news may act as a trigger for those still contemplating going solar to make their move – and perhaps giving further consideration to also acquiring a home battery system in order to increase their energy independence.
It’s certainly a good time to buy a solar power system – substantial government incentives are still available; however, these will be reduced at the end of this year and a rush may occur prior.
Solar may also be more attractive to small businesses from today. As we mentioned last month, most items purchased for a business to a value of $20,000 (per instance) are immediately 100 per cent tax deductible under accelerated depreciation.
The accelerated depreciation incentive was previously only available to businesses with a turnover of $2 million or less. From today, the instant asset write-off scheme will be extended to businesses with a turnover of up to $10 million. Businesses considering going solar based on this incentive should first check with their accountants to ensure they will be eligible for it.